“I myself have taken your kinsmen the L’vi’im from among the people of Israel; they have been given as a gift to Adonai for you, so that you can perform the service in the tent of meeting.”-Numbers 18:6
A very important reminder is given to us in verse 6.
We’re reminded that the Tribe of Levi has been divided and separated away from Israel.
In addition, we’re told that within the Tribe of Levi, there are two distinct groups: the “common Levites” and the “Levite Priests“.
The “Common Levites” were to support the “Priests” in maintaining, transporting and guarding the Tabernacle.
What follows after verse 6 is basically a repeat of all the sacrifices and offerings spread throughout the Book of Leviticus we’ve already studied but are here presented in a more organized fashion.
Understand that the Lord laying out all of these sacrifices, offerings and rulings onto the table again was THE RESPONSE to the following rebellions that came before.
-The faithless scouts who went into the Promised Land and came back with a negative report
-The man who gathered wood on the Shabbat
-The several thousand Israelites who died of the plague because they accused Moses and Aaron of being unjust
And all of these disasters occurred because of ONE reason:
The people had refused to accept God’s Chosen Mediators (in this case Moses and Aaron).
They had also refused to submit to the special role of the Priesthood and the set-apart nature of the Tribe of Levi.
Therefore, God had to wipe out all of the rebels and repeat what He expects of the Priesthood and how He expects the people to respond to the authority of the Priesthood.
We are given a listing of the sacrifices and tithes that were to be given to the Priests and Levites for their pay.
Keep in mind however that all of this wouldn’t be implemented until AFTER Israel was established in the Promised Land.
The model being presented to us is that after Israel has conquered and settled themselves in the Promised Land, a portion of the offerings are to go to the priests and their families for food.
The common Israelites would support the Tribe of Levi from their crops and farm animals and in return the Levites would minister to the people.
This is the model that was to be set up.
Remember the Levites would NOT be receiving a land inheritance of their own.
They would only be given 48 villages to live in.
Hence, it was necessary to set up a system so they could be supported.